Gay Olympian Greg Louganis will be guest of honor at South East Asia's first ever gay sports tournament.
The US athlete, who won two gold medals in diving in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, will attend the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender games held at the national stadium in Kathmandu, Nepal, from 12 October to 14 October.
The 52-year-old who spoke publicly for the first time about being HIV positive earlier this month will join other gay athletes and artists, as well as international LGBT activists including Peter Tatchell.
Over 200 Nepali amateur athletes from the LGBT community and at least 150
foreign athletes from 17 countries will compete in more than 10 groups and individual events such as karate, track running, a 5km fun marathon, football, volleyball, swimming and long jump.
‘The aims for organising this event are to mainstream LGBTs into the larger society, promote healthy lifestyles and promote health mentally and spiritually,’ said Sunil Babu Pant, Nepal’s first openly gay politician and head of gay rights group Blue Diamond Society and the LGBT travel company Pink Mountain.
A film festival and human rights seminar will also run during the games.
Nepal has some of the most progressive attitudes to LGBT rights in Asia. The national consensus last year recognised a third gender, and earlier this year one of the country’s biggest sit com stars proudly announced his child’s gender realignment surgery.
In 2008 Nepal's Supreme Court ruled that it would end discrimination to LGBT people, including the right to marry. The law allowing same-sex marriage is likely to be part of the new constitution which is expected to be finalised before 31 May this year, following a six month extension.